Mumbai :Top seeds Aadil Anand and Sampada Bhiwandkar registered exciting victories to emerge cub boys and girls champions, respectively, in the 1st Maharashtra State Ranking Table Tennis Tournament, organised and hosted by Khar Gymkhana, on Wednesday.Anand endured a gruelling route before helping himself to the title. Relying on a fierce forehand loop drive and an equally lethal backhand, Anand overcame second seed Rajveer Shah in a riveting championship round 7-11, 11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10, in an intense battle for supremacy where Shah squandered a 10-6 lead in a nail-biting decider that stretched into extra points.

Earlier, in the semi-finals, Anand faced another stiff challenge from diminutive Jash Modi. Fourth seed Modi, all of three-and-a-half feet, was the cynosure of all eyes as he straight away snatched the opening game from the favourite and threatened to take the match into the decider.

The little dynamo of Kapol Vidyanidhi School craned his neck above the table to play impressive shots with confidence and ignored Anand’s reputation to extend the crucial fourth game that ended over extra points.

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Free Press Journal